While my raspberries are a few weeks behind the schedule they usually follow, they are finally all ripening enough for me to start picking them and making some raspberry jam. My husband and kids love this jam, and I would certainly hear about it if I didn’t make it. I made about two dozen jars each year and that seems to just get us through.
Everyone always asks me for my raspberry jam recipe and, while I would love to say it is a family secret, I pretty much just follow the directions that comes with the pectin I buy and keep in mind a few tips my husband’s grandma told me. When it comes to pectin, I prefer to use liquid pectin over powdered, but I don’t have a real concrete reason for this – just personal preference.
Start out by gathering together all of the supplies and tools you will need.
- Raspberries (approximately 7 – 8 cups)
- 8 oz. Jelly Jars with lids and bands (between 8 and 12)
- Waterbath Canner
- Plate and Fork
- Measuring cups
- Wooden spoon
- Jar lifter
- Wide-Mouth funnel
- Magnetic lid wand (or tongs)
- Rags and towels
Of course, the first thing you need to do is pick the raspberries. I grab a clean ice cream pail and head out to my patch. I know if I fill the bucket so it is about 2-inches from the top it should be enough for one batch of jam. Bring the raspberries into the kitchen and rinse them off.
Before you start cooking your jam, fill the waterbath canner about 2/3 of the way full of water. Wash all of the jars, lids, and bands. Place the jars in the canner and put it on your stove top ad turn it on. I set the jars on the basket and keep the basket elevated over the hot water. You need the jars to be hot when you fill them with the hot jam. You also need the lids to be hot so I usually fill a bowl with water, place it in the microwave for a few minutes, and then place the lids in it.
Lay a layer of clean raspberries on a plate or even a cutting board. Use a fork to crush them. I usually crush a little at a time and dump them into a glass measuring cup until I have a total of 4 cups of crushed raspberries.
Dump the 4 cups of raspberries into a large pot along with 6 ½ cups of sugar. Mix them well. Cook over high heat, stirring often, until it reaches a rolling boil.
This is when you will usually stir in your pectin (follow the specific directions that comes with the pectin you use). Return it to a boil and let it boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove the pot from the heat.
Use a spoon to skim the foam off of the top of the boiled jam. As you skim it off, if you stir the jam occasionally, most of the foam will move to the edges. I usually skim it off and put it in a bowl so my kids can fight over who gets to eat the foam!
Now you are ready to start filling the jars. Remove the hot jars from the waterbath canner one at a time. Place the wide mouthed funnel in the jar and use the ladle to fill the jar. I usually fill the jar with enough jam so it hits the bottom edge of the funnel. Make sure there is no jam around the top edge of the jar.
Carefully remove a lid from the hot water using a magnetic lid wand or tongs and place it on the jar. Tighten a band around the top of the jar (I usually hold the hot jar with a rag while I tighten the band) and then you can carefully place it back in the basket in the canner. Continue this until you have used all of the jam. The number of jars you are able to fill may vary. Sometimes I can fill 11 or 12 and others it is 8 or 9.
Once you have all of your jars filled and placed back in the canner, carefully lower the basket into the hot water. You want the water to to come up above the jars by an inch or two. Turn the burner to high heat to get the water to a boil (if it isn’t already). Once the water is boiling, place the cover on the canner and turn it to medium heat and let it process in a gentle boil for 10 minutes. After ten minutes, remove it from the heat and remove the cover. Let the jars sit in the canner for another 5 minutes and then you can lift the basket and remove all of the jars and set them on a folded towel to cool.
As the jars of raspberry jam cool, you will hear the lids start making a popping noise as they seal. It shouldn’t take long for all of the lids to seal (you can test the seal by pressing the middle of the lid – it should be firm and not flex up and down). Coming out of the canner, the jam will still be runny but will thicken up as it sets.
I have had great success for years using these directions. While I have never had to reprocess any jam (knock-on-wood), but if, by chance, you jam doesn’t gel, you will need to reprocess it.
If you are interested in making jam using other fruits, check out these recipes: